There has been a growing tension in Seattle this offseason as star quarterback Russell Wilson has expressed frustration with the Seahawks organization. He has not outright asked for a trade, but told the Seahawks that there were four teams he would consider being traded to – the Cowboys, the Saints, the Raiders and the Bears. The Chicago Bears were a bit of a surprise to many around the league, as their struggling offense and repeated failure at the quarterback position appears undesirable. However, Russell Wilson heading to the Bears would make sense.
Wilson’s reported priorities are being free to run the offense as he sees fit, joining a team that is ready to compete, and being in a city where Wilson and his wife Ciara can build their brands and legacy. Here is why the Bears and the city of Chicago would be able to accomplish all of those goals.
Running the Offense
The Seahawks have had one of the best offenses of the past decade. However, Russell Wilson has not always been happy with head coach Pete Carroll’s conservative offensive philosophy. According to an article by The Athletic, “Wilson believes that Carroll’s conservative philosophy is limiting his production and, by extension, his ambitions to be one of the game’s all-time greats.”
Carroll’s belief in running the ball to set up the pass is something Wilson wants to break away from. He would like to pass early and often, building up his statistics and legacy in the process. Wilson would be able to accomplish this in Chicago.
For one, head coach Matt Nagy’s preferred scheme would play to Russell Wilson’s advantage. Nagy, like his mentor Andy Reid, believes in frequently throwing the ball downfield and run-pass option plays. Due to limitations from former Bears quarterbacks, he was never quite able to achieve that. However, Wilson’s accuracy, deep ball and mobility would open up the offense and allow the Nagy to open up the playbook as he originally hoped.
Secondly, Russell Wilson would largely be allowed to run the offense as he wishes in Chicago. Considering the Bears struggles at the quarterback position, a star quarterback like Wilson would be able to do nearly whatever he wants. Chicago has not had the luxury of a top quarterback since Sid Luckman in the 1940s and 50s. Therefore, the Bears would likely cater and adjust to whatever style of offense Russell Wilson would want to run.
Joining a Competitive Team
Wilson’s desire to join a competitive team would also be appeased in Chicago. At the moment, it is unlikely that the Bears would be true Super Bowl contenders. Beyond the quarterback position, they have multiple holes, not to mention the draft picks and key player(s) they would have to give up in order to trade for Wilson. However, with Wilson on the roster, the Bears would likely at least make the playoffs and have the potential to make a deep run.
On offense, although the Bears offensive line is not great, it is better than the atrocious Seahawks line that Wilson has had to deal with in recent years. Wilson has been sacked 394 times in 144 career games, the most by any quarterback in their first nine seasons. Chicago does not have great weapons, but assuming they retain Allen Robinson, the Bears will be plenty serviceable in this regard.
Chicago’s defense is also much better than Seattle’s. Although it has not quite lived up to its dominant performance in 2018, the talent is undoubtedly there. With a new defensive coordinator in Sean Desai, who was mentor by Fangio, it is expected to return to its dominance.
The Bears are not a top-notch team quite yet. However, they have plenty of good pieces and are arguably more well-rounded than the Seahawks. With Wilson at quarterback, they would be one step closer to a Super Bowl.
Brand and Legacy
One key aspect of Wilson’s wishes is building his and his wife’s brand and legacy. Chicago would be the perfect place to do that.
His wife Ciara is a singer and model. Chicago, being such a large music market and city, would be a good place for her. Certainly a much better situation than Seattle, a smaller city that is less ideal for her career.
Meanwhile, there is no place like Chicago to build a legacy as a quarterback. Chicago is a football crazy town starved for a star quarterback that can lead the Bears to greatness. The Bears have not had such a quarterback since Sid Luckman, relying on their defense for a long time. With Wilson, this could change.
If he could revitalize this offense and lead the Bears to the promised land for the first time since 1985, Russell Wilson would go down in Chicago history as one of the greats.
Wilson has also expressed a desire to be included in a franchise in a management role after his career. Beyond potentially turning around the Bears franchise as a player, Wilson could restore Chicago to its former glory as a premier football town. That is the type of legacy Wilson would love to have. His name would be mentioned among the likes of George Halas, Mike Ditka, Walter Payton and more as people defining the Bears franchise.
At face value, Chicago may not seem like a realistic destination for Russell Wilson. However, the Bears check off the most important boxes on his wishlist.
Unfortunately, he would come at a large price. Star quarterbacks are very difficult to acquire, not to mention the large cap hit that he would cause. However, acquiring Wilson could turn the tide of the whole franchise and would make sense for both the Bears and Russell Wilson. It is just a question of how willing the Seahawks will be to trade the face of the franchise.
“From Our Haus to Yours”